Media Release: March 10, 2016 Stratford Town Council Meeting Summary

­Media Release

March 10, 2016 Council Meeting Summary

 

For Immediate Release:  March 10, 2016

The following items were discussed at the regular monthly meeting of the Stratford Town Council.

2016 Budget

At the regular Stratford Town Council Meeting on March 10, 2016, the Stratford Town Council passed resolutions to adopt the 2016 Town operating and capital budgets and the 2016 Utility operating and capital budgets.  Before Council passed the 2016 budgets, Deputy Mayor Randy Cooper, the Chair of the Finance and Technology Committee, gave a detailed presentation on the budgets.

 

The following are some of the highlights of the Town operating budget:

  • In the 2016 Town budget, revenue is forecast to be $6,808,400 which includes government transfers of $1,992,000 and expenses of $4,888,800 with a resulting surplus of $1,919,600. However on a cash flow basis a surplus of only $32,600. The $1,992,000 is the money we expect to receive in New Deal funding, Provincial Infrastructure Fund, and other funding sources that are used directly in the purchase of our capital assets. The Public Sector Accounting Board guidelines now require that we show government transfers as revenue in the year of purchase. This causes what appears to be a large budget surplus but, in actuality, the capital assets are depreciated over a period of time and we set our budget to ensure that there is sufficient cash flow to cover the principal payments on any borrowing for the capital assets.

 

  • Town expenses in 2016 are up just 1% over the 2015 budget.
  • Town revenue is more than $520,000 less than it would be in 2016 if the province did not unilaterally change the Town’s tax credit to a grant in 2008. This severely hampers the Town’s ability to develop any new initiatives in the 2016 budget which were received through pre-budget consultations.
  • There will be no increase to municipal tax rates which will remain at $.44 per $100 of assessment for residential properties and $.99 per $100 of assessment for commercial properties.
  • Select investments that we are making in 2016 include:
    • $8,400 to maintain the 3:30pm transit run which was started in September 2015 on a trial basis
    • $33,500 in increased policing cost as a result of the new contract with the RCMP
    • $5,000 for the implementation of Cosmetic Pesticide Bylaw
    • $20,000 for the implementation of a Support Local program
    • Continued funding for the Pownal Rink of $50,000 and CARI pool in the amount of $15,000
    • Allowance for consultant assistance in completing the new zoning and development bylaw review and engagement

 

The following are some of the highlights of the Town capital budget:

  • We are budgeting $2,528,000 for capital items in 2016 which, after infrastructure funding and partnerships in the amount of $2,284,000, will be a net cost of $244,800 to taxpayers. Funding includes New Deal funding in the amount of $1,558,900, Provincial Infrastructure funding in the amount of $150,000, anticipated partnerships funding of $470,000, Canada 150 funding of $42,700, and NDCC- Municipal Strategic Component of $62,500.
  • Infrastructure department funding to complete the Trans Canada Trail along Mason Road of $104,000, sidewalk and bike lane construction with an allowance of $860,000 funded by New Deal Funding and capital investments including a new roof for the youth/seniors centre, heat pump repairs at Stratford Town Centre and parking lot paving.
  • Further development of Fullerton’s Creek Conservation Park – a new multi-use municipal park. This phase will include a multipurpose playing field, a viewing platform overlooking Fullerton’s Marsh and an additional kilometer of trail added in 2016 with $275,000 in the capital budget to complete this work.
  • Funding in the capital budget for the continued development of parks and playgrounds ($70,000), splash pad ($100,000), purchase of tracker/ski groomer ($27,500), and another public art piece for the parks/trails ($12,000).
  • Funding of $350,000 in the capital budget to develop a partnership for a skateboard park in Stratford to support our active youth.
  • An allowance of $250,000 for the enhancement of the Hillsborough Bridge entrance to the Town, funded from the New Deal program. This project began in 2014 but was not completed due to the proposed location of structures in the road right-of-way that were disallowed. We are now looking at other options to achieve the sense of welcoming that we are striving for.
  • $89,900 for Stratford’s share of the purchase price for new transit buses.

 

The following are some of the highlights of the Utility operating budget:

  • Revenue is budgeted at $2,807,700, including government grants with expenses budgeted at $2,016,400. This results in a $791,300 surplus, however once the government grants are removed and our debt payments are made we actually end up with a cash flow surplus of $150,900 as a result of the Public Sector Accounting Board guidelines which now require that we show government transfers as revenue in the year of purchase. This causes what appears to be a large budget surplus but, in actuality, the capital assets are depreciated over a period of time and we set our budget to ensure that there is sufficient cash flow to cover the principal payments on any borrowing for the capital assets.
    • There has not been an increase to Stratford Utility customer water or sewer rates in more than six years. After a review it was determined that capital and operational expense deficiencies existed and therefore the following rate increases will be in effect as of July 2016:
  • The water for a single family dwelling (SFD) will go from $61.25 to $68.25 per quarter;
  • The sewer for a single family dwelling (SFD) will go from $76.25 to $82.25 per quarter;
  • The consumption charge for metered water will go from $0.381 to $0.805 per cubic metre; and
  • The consumption charge for metered sewer will go from $0.423 to $0.9706 per cubic meter.

 

The following are some of the highlights of the Utility capital budget:

  • Water servicing to Rankin Subdivision with $1,000,000 in funding contingent on New Deal Funding
  • Replacement of the Aptos Sewer Pump Station to allow the sewer system to run more efficiently in the area at a cost of $160,000.
  • Water metering to begin in 2016 with $375,000 in both 2016 and 2017 required to complete the work
  • Replacement/upgrade to Waste Water Treatment Plant (cost and timeline TBD). Consultation with residents will take place once the numbers for the two options have been received by Council.

 

A copy of the budget document, containing more detailed information, is found here.

 

Other Resolutions:

Cleaning Contract

Council approved a resolution to award the cleaning contract to Brockways Cleaning Services in the amount of $66,805.47, including all cleaning supplies and toiletries for the Stratford Town Centre, the Cotton Center, the Stratford Library, and the RCMP Office. In addition, the Town also accepts the hourly rate of $15.00 for additional services that may be required.

Marshall MacPherson – 36 Unit Condominium Development Application, Shakespeare Drive

 

Council denied a revised application from Marshall MacPherson to develop 36 residential apartment style condominium units on lot 15-2 (approx. 1.67 acres) located on parcel number 882084 on Shakespeare Drive within the TCMU Zone.

 

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For more information please contact:

Wendy Watts, Community Engagement Coordinator
Phone: (902) 569-1995
Email: wwatts@townofstratford.ca

Media Release: March 10, 2016 Stratford Town Council Meeting Summary

­Media Release

March 10, 2016 Council Meeting Summary

 

For Immediate Release:  March 10, 2016

The following items were discussed at the regular monthly meeting of the Stratford Town Council.

2016 Budget

At the regular Stratford Town Council Meeting on March 10, 2016, the Stratford Town Council passed resolutions to adopt the 2016 Town operating and capital budgets and the 2016 Utility operating and capital budgets.  Before Council passed the 2016 budgets, Deputy Mayor Randy Cooper, the Chair of the Finance and Technology Committee, gave a detailed presentation on the budgets.

 

The following are some of the highlights of the Town operating budget:

  • In the 2016 Town budget, revenue is forecast to be $6,808,400 which includes government transfers of $1,992,000 and expenses of $4,888,800 with a resulting surplus of $1,919,600. However on a cash flow basis a surplus of only $32,600. The $1,992,000 is the money we expect to receive in New Deal funding, Provincial Infrastructure Fund, and other funding sources that are used directly in the purchase of our capital assets. The Public Sector Accounting Board guidelines now require that we show government transfers as revenue in the year of purchase. This causes what appears to be a large budget surplus but, in actuality, the capital assets are depreciated over a period of time and we set our budget to ensure that there is sufficient cash flow to cover the principal payments on any borrowing for the capital assets.

 

  • Town expenses in 2016 are up just 1% over the 2015 budget.
  • Town revenue is more than $520,000 less than it would be in 2016 if the province did not unilaterally change the Town’s tax credit to a grant in 2008. This severely hampers the Town’s ability to develop any new initiatives in the 2016 budget which were received through pre-budget consultations.
  • There will be no increase to municipal tax rates which will remain at $.44 per $100 of assessment for residential properties and $.99 per $100 of assessment for commercial properties.
  • Select investments that we are making in 2016 include:
    • $8,400 to maintain the 3:30pm transit run which was started in September 2015 on a trial basis
    • $33,500 in increased policing cost as a result of the new contract with the RCMP
    • $5,000 for the implementation of Cosmetic Pesticide Bylaw
    • $20,000 for the implementation of a Support Local program
    • Continued funding for the Pownal Rink of $50,000 and CARI pool in the amount of $15,000
    • Allowance for consultant assistance in completing the new zoning and development bylaw review and engagement

 

The following are some of the highlights of the Town capital budget:

  • We are budgeting $2,528,000 for capital items in 2016 which, after infrastructure funding and partnerships in the amount of $2,284,000, will be a net cost of $244,800 to taxpayers. Funding includes New Deal funding in the amount of $1,558,900, Provincial Infrastructure funding in the amount of $150,000, anticipated partnerships funding of $470,000, Canada 150 funding of $42,700, and NDCC- Municipal Strategic Component of $62,500.
  • Infrastructure department funding to complete the Trans Canada Trail along Mason Road of $104,000, sidewalk and bike lane construction with an allowance of $860,000 funded by New Deal Funding and capital investments including a new roof for the youth/seniors centre, heat pump repairs at Stratford Town Centre and parking lot paving.
  • Further development of Fullerton’s Creek Conservation Park – a new multi-use municipal park. This phase will include a multipurpose playing field, a viewing platform overlooking Fullerton’s Marsh and an additional kilometer of trail added in 2016 with $275,000 in the capital budget to complete this work.
  • Funding in the capital budget for the continued development of parks and playgrounds ($70,000), splash pad ($100,000), purchase of tracker/ski groomer ($27,500), and another public art piece for the parks/trails ($12,000).
  • Funding of $350,000 in the capital budget to develop a partnership for a skateboard park in Stratford to support our active youth.
  • An allowance of $250,000 for the enhancement of the Hillsborough Bridge entrance to the Town, funded from the New Deal program. This project began in 2014 but was not completed due to the proposed location of structures in the road right-of-way that were disallowed. We are now looking at other options to achieve the sense of welcoming that we are striving for.
  • $89,900 for Stratford’s share of the purchase price for new transit buses.

 

The following are some of the highlights of the Utility operating budget:

  • Revenue is budgeted at $2,807,700, including government grants with expenses budgeted at $2,016,400. This results in a $791,300 surplus, however once the government grants are removed and our debt payments are made we actually end up with a cash flow surplus of $150,900 as a result of the Public Sector Accounting Board guidelines which now require that we show government transfers as revenue in the year of purchase. This causes what appears to be a large budget surplus but, in actuality, the capital assets are depreciated over a period of time and we set our budget to ensure that there is sufficient cash flow to cover the principal payments on any borrowing for the capital assets.
    • There has not been an increase to Stratford Utility customer water or sewer rates in more than six years. After a review it was determined that capital and operational expense deficiencies existed and therefore the following rate increases will be in effect as of July 2016:
  • The water for a single family dwelling (SFD) will go from $61.25 to $68.25 per quarter;
  • The sewer for a single family dwelling (SFD) will go from $76.25 to $82.25 per quarter;
  • The consumption charge for metered water will go from $0.381 to $0.805 per cubic metre; and
  • The consumption charge for metered sewer will go from $0.423 to $0.9706 per cubic meter.

 

The following are some of the highlights of the Utility capital budget:

  • Water servicing to Rankin Subdivision with $1,000,000 in funding contingent on New Deal Funding
  • Replacement of the Aptos Sewer Pump Station to allow the sewer system to run more efficiently in the area at a cost of $160,000.
  • Water metering to begin in 2016 with $375,000 in both 2016 and 2017 required to complete the work
  • Replacement/upgrade to Waste Water Treatment Plant (cost and timeline TBD). Consultation with residents will take place once the numbers for the two options have been received by Council.

 

A copy of the budget document, containing more detailed information, is found here.

 

Other Resolutions:

Cleaning Contract

Council approved a resolution to award the cleaning contract to Brockways Cleaning Services in the amount of $66,805.47, including all cleaning supplies and toiletries for the Stratford Town Centre, the Cotton Center, the Stratford Library, and the RCMP Office. In addition, the Town also accepts the hourly rate of $15.00 for additional services that may be required.

Marshall MacPherson – 36 Unit Condominium Development Application, Shakespeare Drive

 

Council denied a revised application from Marshall MacPherson to develop 36 residential apartment style condominium units on lot 15-2 (approx. 1.67 acres) located on parcel number 882084 on Shakespeare Drive within the TCMU Zone.

 

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For more information please contact:

Wendy Watts, Community Engagement Coordinator
Phone: (902) 569-1995
Email: wwatts@townofstratford.ca

Date of Construction:
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